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West Midlands

Ian Graves is the IoD West Midlands’ Director of the Year

22 Jun 2017

IoD West Midlands Director of the Year Awards

Ian Graves, director in charge of European Business Development at the National Grid, has been named the IoD West Midlands Director of the Year.

The IoD's judging panel saluted his remarkable leadership, saying that, 'from the outset, Ian has demonstratedall the qualities of an overall winner: vision, clear strategy, entrepreneurial spirit, confidence and drive.'

They were particularly impressed by his work in securing a major joint venture with French energy supplier RTE, which will deliver 10000MW of electrical capacity as part of an £800m electricity interconnector project.

Judges also praised his commitment to his team's career development and willingness to embrace diversity in order to establish a workforce that reflected the community it serves.

In addition, they noted that Ian reflected the IoD's ethos of strong corporate governance, ensuring health and safety standards were the highest in the sector and that the company matched its stated goals on corporate social responsibility.

Ian Graves, Director of the Year, IoD West Midlands

Ian paid tribute to his team who were, he said, responsible for the remarkable growth achieved by the National Grid's business development arm, which was generating strong profits for the energy supplier.

The awards breakfast, held at Warwickshire County Cricket's Edgbaston Stadium, also saw the IoD mark the contribution of Peter Maskell, chief executive of BHSF Group, who retires this August. Peter received the Chairman's Award from the IoD's Dr Jason Wouhra OBE, who praised his remarkable contribution to the West Midlands business sector over a 54-year career.

Ian Graves was also named Director of the Year in the Large Company category, while Daniel Wilson of PSL and Andy Wilkinson of OWB were named Directors of the Year in the Medium-Sized Business and Small Business categories respectively.

There was a double win for the family behind Synectics Solutions. Carol Shanahan was named Director of the Year for her unwavering commitment to the company's Corporate Social Responsibility policies, while her daughter, Kate Beardmore, was named the Family Business Director of the Year.

The IoD's Young Director of the Year was Ahmed Farooq, Wesleyan Assurance, while the Not-for Profit Award was won by Marie Bawden of Castel Forma, a charity which proves specialist care to patients with a range of neurological conditions.

Finally, Dean Kavanagh was named the West Midlands Non-Executive Director of the Year for his voluntary work with the Romero Catholic Academy.


Contact Details

For further comments or to arrange interviews

Calum Nisbet
Regional Director
Institute of Directors West Midlands
The Library of Birmingham
Centenary Square
Birmingham   B1 2 ND

T:  0121 643 7801
M: 07714 747085


Jason Wouhra
Institute of Directors West Midlands

T:  0121 359 2199
M: 07814 386 243

Notes to editors

• The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. The IoD is a non-party political organisation with approximately 34,500 members in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors. Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies. 
• The IoD provides an effective voice to represent the interests of its members to key opinion-formers at the highest levels. These include Government ministers and their shadows, parliamentary committee members, senior civil servants and think-tanks. IoD policies and views are actively promoted to the national, regional and trade media. Follow us on Twitter to get the IoD’s reaction on business and public policy issues. 
• The IoD offers a wide range of business services which include business centre facilities, with 15 UK centres (including three in London, Reading, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast) and one in Paris, conferences, networking events, virtual offices, issues-led guides and literature, as well as free access to business information and advisory services. The IoD places great emphasis on director development and has established a certified qualification for directors – Chartered Director – as well as running specific board and director-level training and individual career mentoring programmes. 

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